Author: Dan Feldman

Lamar Odom
Associated Press

Report: Lamar Odom won’t be charged with drug possession

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More good news for Lamar Odom, who was released from the hospital last week.

The former NBA player faced the prospect of felony drug charges after his overdose, but it appears he’ll avoid those.

TMZ:

Law enforcement sources say the Nye County D.A. has decided not to file any charges against Lamar. As we reported, it’s extremely rare that prosecutors file drug possession charges when the person who consumed the drugs ends up in the hospital.

John Calipari denies NBA rumors, states desire to stay at Kentucky

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 17:  Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats gives instructions to his team against the Duke Blue Devils during the Champions Classic at the United Center on November 17, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images )
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John Calipari reportedly wants a 10-year, $120 million contract to leave Kentucky and coach the Nets or Kings.

Or as he puts it…

Let’s say Calipari is telling the truth. Let’s also parse his words.

I can easily believe Calipari isn’t negotiating with anyone right now during the season. That’s why he has an agent.

And he can easily get around “I plan on being at Kentucky for a long time” by starting an introductory press conference in Brooklyn or Sacramento with “I loved Kentucky, but this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up…”

Calipari has a great job. I’m sure he’d be happy to stay at Kentucky. So, if the Nets or Kings want him, they need to come way over the top with an excessive offer.

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov: ‘Next season, I hope we’ll be championship contender’

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 28:  Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov addresses the media regarding the firing of Avery Johnson at halftime of the game between the Nets and the Charlotte Bobcats at the Barclays Center on December 28, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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In his first public remarks since firing Billy King and Lionel Hollins, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov – who famously declared his team would win a championship within five years of him purchasing it – said:

“I have to look at the reality.”

Then a few minutes later:

“I’m sure, for the next season, I hope we’ll be championship contender.”

Thus ended the brief era of realistic expectations Brooklyn.

Unfortunately for the Nets, whether they understand it or not, they have no choice but to face reality. They’re 10-27, devoid of talent and don’t have their own first-round pick until 2019. They’re stuck.

And they have an owner whose big goals and stated impatience makes him as unpredictable as ever.

“Frankly speaking, I deserve championship now much more than six years ago,” Prokhorov said with a slight grin.

It’s often difficult with Prokhorov to tell where the joke ends and the delusion begins.

He spoke more earnestly about Brooklyn needing only a “small reset,” a phrase he used multiple times. But this is a franchise with grand problems. Prokhorov emphasized Brooklyn’s major cap space this summer, but nearly every team will have that – and a much clearer path to contention.

The Nets are mostly biding time until 2018, when they can target being bad enough to secure a high draft pick in 2019. Until then, they’ll lose their own first-rounder twice and face a swap with the Celtics in 2017.

So, the Nets can chase veteran free agents to be as good as possible the next two seasons. It probably won’t work – who wants to play for this team without being massively overpaid? – but there’s no harm in trying.

Their only imperative is not trading their limited future assets – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris McCullough and whatever picks they have left – for immediate help. Just take your punishment and hope you can remain decent enough to draw fans the next couple years.

Taking a shortcut by trading three first-rounders and a pick swap for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce didn’t work when Brooklyn already had Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson. It’s sure not going to work now with this barren roster the starting point.

Yet, Prokhorov can’t let go of the previous plan.

“I still believe, with some luck, our results might have been more convincing,” Prokhorov said.

That might be true. The Nets’ got essentially the worst-case realistic outcome from a Williams-Johnson-Pierce-Garnett-Lopez lineup.

But it was realistic, and committing to that aging core cost Brooklyn considerably. There were no safeguards in the form of pick protections to prevent the disastrous slide that’s only beginning.

At least the Nets are getting someone other than King for Prokhorov’s second try, and the owner addressed reports about that process:

  • On Kentucky coach John Calipari: “Coach Cal is a great coach, but we won’t be discussing today on any name.”
  • ON CSKA Moscow president Andrey Vatutin: “I have no plans for that.”
  • On King helping the search for his replacement: “He can send me any of his idea as a friend, but for the time being, it’s not his job.”

Prokhorov also said he sees a “friendly contradiction” between the general manager and coach, meaning he’d prefer not to have one person handle both jobs. That’d limit an offer to Calipari or anyone else.

That actually might be a healthy limit on the team. The rest – the absence of talent, the loss of draft picks – are debilitating.

Yet, Prokhorov still speaks of limitless expectations.

“I hope we will be back, not as a playoff team, as a championship contender,” Prokhorov said. “This is my only goal.”

It’s a fine goal. Prokhorov has just shown no indication he knows how to get there.

I don’t see how that changes until he gets a true reality check.

Video of fan touching Timofey Mozgov

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 28:  Timofey Mozgov #20 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on December 28, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Update: The Timberwolves say the weren’t aware of the incident until after the game, so the fan was not ejected. But he has been banned from the arena for one year.

 

Timofey Mozgov said a fan touched him during Friday’s Cavaliers-Timberwolves game in Minnesota. Video confirms that account.

Here’s another angle:

If the Timberwolves can identify that fan, he should be banned from NBA arenas. Touching a player is completely over the line.

Ian Mahinmi explodes for dunk on Clint Capela (video)

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 24: Ian Mahinmi #28 of the Indiana Pacers sits on the bench after coming out in the first half against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center on November 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Patrick Beverly thought about trying to stop this Ian Mahinmi dunk.

Clint Capela wasn’t so tentative – an admirable trait that got him devastatingly slammed on.